Goan for the Jocular
by Cecil Pinto
Micheal's Mood Guests
Met my good friend Micheal D'Costa yesterday after a long, long time.
Micheal and me had studied together at St. Xaviers College in Mapusa and had kept in touch ever since, whenever we occasionally bumped into each other. Micheal calls himself a futurepreneur. That exactly what his business card says - FUTUREPRENEUR.
To enlighten you Micheal has been into every possible business long before others jumped onto the bandwagon - STD booth, Cybercafe, Event Management, Computer sales, Cellphone sales, Wildlife Treks, Webpage Hosting, Beach Shacks, Discos... Micheal had started all of these long before anyone else saw the opportunity coming. And once the market got crowded Micheal would swiftly change his line to something new and the rest would follow in a few months. Truly a futurepreneur. A man before his time.
"So Micheal what are you up to now?" I asked, "Last time we met you were offering an entire Wedding Package at Rs. 250/- per person. But now many others are doing that sort of thing."
"That is my life and my curse. I think up a good business plan and do all the research and pricing and then set it up. Next week another guy copies my idea and competes with me on price. It's quite sickening. Since you ask, I will tell you as a good friend. But this is Top Secret. I'm still in the wedding supplies business - Mood Guests."
"What exactly is that?"
"See sometimes you go for a wedding and it's quite a flop because the guest mixture is just not right. Too many old people, or too many young disco dancers, or too many drunks. The whole wedding reception, which the bride and groom spent months on planning, goes all awry because the Guest List was not balanced. I help balance it out, so the wedding is a success.
"Just hold on Cecil my mobile's ringing." Micheal reaches for his mobile.
"Hello Mood Guests On Call, Micheal speaking..."
"Jerry! Tell me. Cotta Mansion? Ok! How many? Three couples enough? Done!
They'll be there in twenty minutes."
"See Cecil. I deal with all the top MCs at weddings. They appraise the situation and give me a call. Now you heard that last request. Things are moving a bit too slow at a wedding in Agacaim. Nobody's dancing. I'm sending across three lively young couples. They do some sizzling Salsa and all the other guests will be out on the floor before the set is over."
"Hello! Trevor. Hello? How many? I think two couples will be just right."
"There see again. There's a wedding at Mapusa where there isn't a single foreigner present. How boring. How can you have a wedding in Goa without the obligatory few whites? What will the guests say? I'm despatching two European couples to add some colour to the occasion."
"But Micheal, how do you pay all these people?"
"I'm still working out the rates but my mood guests don't expect to be paid much more than petrol money. After all they get to enjoy themselves, drink, and eat some good food. All they are required to do is dress well and play their part. Hold on! There's another call coming through"
"Hello Alister, too noisy you said. Done! Four couples middle-aged, plus
one real elderly pair from UK in case that doesn't work."
"There see Cecil. This wedding at Margao is getting a bit out of hand with too many drunk stag dancers crowding the floor. I send some decent middle aged couples there who will do some classic ballroom dancing and bring the equation back in hand. In case that doesn't work we bring in the heavy artillery. This stiff upper lip couple from UK. Their ramrod-stiff dancing and disdainful looks will have everyone in line in minutes"
"Hello! Carl! Hokay. Nobody's drinking? A stiff sober occasion. I can spare three guys max. Sure guaranteed. They will drink themselves silly and set the house rocking as they attempt to sing along the Mandos. Sure to get things moving. You need more than three. Uhhh. Hold on a minute. Cecil, are you free for a couple of hours?"
The humour column above appeared in Goa Plus the Friday Magazine section
of The Times of India on 24th January 2003.
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